Why I Don’t Have a Minute For the Man on the Street

On a recent trip to Seattle, I was amazed to find the downtown littered with fresh-faced young people holding binders and asking passerby for a minute to talk about one social issue or other. These, of course, are street fundraisers - paid by charities to raise money. I've seen the occasional one in other cities, [...]

Taking Dan Pallotta a Step Further

Dan Pallotta says a lot of shocking things about charity. His message about our attitude towards the charitable sector flies in the face of a lot of accepted wisdom. And yet - when you really think about it, it makes sense.  Except... there are elements of it that I agree with only conditionally; they make sense [...]

Solving the Wrong Problem

Here in Edmonton, there's a new tech startup trying to helping nonprofit organizations reduce their costs. I debated one of their founders on television last week. Across the country, legislators are working hard to adjust the tax structures and reporting rules that charities live by. Across the world, legal acrobatics are being performed to create [...]

Non Profit vs. For Profit (And Why I Don’t Care)

What's the best tool for making change: non-profits, charity, traditional for profit business, social enterprise, what? This is one of the big questions in the world of social benefit these days. Here are three really interesting recent articles on the subject, (here, here, and here). Despite its popularity, this may be the wrong question. Don't [...]

Follow Your Heart, But Take Your Head With You

I saw some folks promoting an event "for charity" last week on Twitter. I had to ask - which charity? Why that one? It led to quite a long conversation, eventually drawing in the event organizer. She was able to report that deaths resulting from the disease they're fundraising for (a form of cancer) have [...]

Money Makes the World Go ‘Round?

Over the past week, one of the biggest stories in the news and on social media is that of Karen, the bullied bus monitor. Karen is an elderly school bus monitor in New York state. A video was posted to YouTube of her charges being especially hurtful, taunting her pretty mercilessly. This provoked an outpouring [...]

Protect the Charity You Care About (Part 1)

I want to tell you about a big risk to the charities you support. I've seen it over and over again; good people with good intentions doing something that gets organizations they care about in serious trouble. Lots of people run raffles or 50/50 draws to raise money for charity. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor [...]

Mo Money Mo Disaster Problems?

Just over a week ago, a 6.0 earthquake hit Italy. The people over at SourceFed (a new YouTube site I enjoy greatly) covered it as part of their daily video rundown of current events. The SourceFed folks are, in a word, awesome. Their version of the news is always fun, fast, and insightful, and they're [...]

Before You Fundraise

One of the tasks charity volunteers are most often asked to do is fundraise. I've written before about why that is, but what about the consequences? Being asked to fundraise is actually a major request, in my opinion. You're being asked for more than your time and energy. You're being asked to put your reputation [...]